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School School School

Oh boy, less than a week and a half before I start at UTEP. How exciting!!!

The thing I'm least excited about is buying my books. I know that it is going to be significantly more expensive than at community college and I'm not sure I want to go the route of buying too old of an edition online as it may not be beneficial to my GPA as much as it is to my wallet.

The first thing to do is find some one who has taken your classes before. Ask them about the overall book use in the class--did they even crack it open?!--what to expect from the course load and professor as well as what the overall role of the text was in the class.

If you receive any of the following answers, get the book!
-Homework that contributed to the course grade
-Open Book tests
-Extensive reading
-Quoting, paraphrasing for essays
-Book Check... my Cal II professor gave out extra credit on random days for everyone that had their book.
-Really particular/specific courses like Nanotechnology in the Sixteenth Dimension.

But while you've got that person talking to you, ask them what they did with their book. If they've sold it back, thats a deadend. If not tell them you'll give them $5-10 over the asking price at the college bookstore. And if they want to throw in any course notes, old tests, etc. that would really sweeten the deal. Not cheating, it's extensive social studying.

I was in Goodwill yesterday and saw a math book that I bought at the bookstore for $50.00 going for $5.00. While I don't suggest spending a full tanks worth of gas tracking textbooks down, I do recommend taking a look at Thrift stores or Goodwill before hand. For any interested parties it was the Algebra math book they currently use at EPCC possibly UTEP at the goodwill on the corner of Rushing and Fairbanks.

If you can't get a book locally, DON'T BUY AT THE BOOKSTORE!

Online is the next option you have available. Buying books online can save you a lot of money, particularly if you want new books. If you go to your favorite online bookstore, you will see that most of the bigger names offer not only discounts, but free shipping if you purchase $25 or more in their "free shipping category" of books. Lead time to get your books is going to vary according to the textbook's availability, but in general, you will have your books within about a week.

Now, if you are willing to buy used books, it is going to be a whole different ball game for you. Most of the major online bookstores offer used books. To get more comparisons, type the name of your book and the author. If its just called "Literature" or "Calculus" try typing in the publisher as well. You can do a recon mission at your college's bookstore to get all this information.

My ace in the whole as far as used books is, a business that is part of eBay. I generally find the least expensive books on this site whenever I want to buy a used book. However, finding a cheap textbook is not the only factor here. First off, you should consider how much damage
and highlighting that you are willing to accept, given the fact that you will not be able to actually see the book until after you have bought it. Second, you will have to pay shipping on used books. Most of the used books sellers on these sites are actually individuals or other businesses that pay a commission to the bookstores for listing their used books. Your books will be coming from different locations. Finally, unless you are willing to pay extra, your books will be shipped via media mail, the least expensive option. However, the least expensive option is takes the longest to arrive, sometimes as long as two weeks.

To give you an idea of how to figure out where to buy your books, I picked five online bookstores to compare,,,,, and I checked the prices for "Principles of Marketing, 10th Edition," by Phillip Kotler and Gary Armstrong, with a list price of $136.67. Prices on these websites ranged from a high of $136.67 with free shipping (Amazon) for a new book to a low of $14.99 with a $3.25 shipping charge for a text in "acceptable" condition (Half). If you research each book that you need to buy, you stand to save yourself considerable money. Make sure that you consider packaging combinations of books through different sites to save yourself even more money.